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Carrigdhoun - Now celebrating its centenary year, we take a journey back in time to the origin of the ladies game - ‘CAMOGIE.’  

‘ON CARRIGDONN’- AS THE SOUTH-EAST CORK DIVISION – CARRIGDHOUN- NOW CELEBRATING ITS CENTENARY YEAR, WE TAKE A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME TO THE ORIGIN OF THE LADIES GAME ‘CAMOGIE.’   IN THIS YEAR AD 2024 SEVEN OF OUR CLUBS ARE TRIVING AND PROGRESSIVE WRITES JOHN TWOMEY

 

ORIGINS

The GAA was founded in 1884 and in the early years the games of Hurling, Football and Athletics were mainly for the men and boys. Of course the ladies were interested too and often they would take up a caman and demonstrate their skills and ability among the ‘lads’.  In 1902 the first ever game of Camogie was recorded when two Dublin teams, KEATINGS AND CUCHULLAINS crossed camans in a game played in Navan Co. Meath.  A few years later Cork had its first Club, FAINNE AN LAOI based in and around Blarney Street in the City.  One of its first members was EILIS WALSH who would later marry TOMAS MCCURTAIN, the murdered Lord Mayor of Cork City.   In 1912 the game of Camogie became popular in the secondary schools including UCC.  In the period of the War of Independence, The British Authorities regarded Camogie Games as illegal assemblies and had them banned.  It was around 1928 with the advent of THE TAILTEANN GAMES – A GREAT NATIONAL AND INTERTNATIONAL EVENT – firstly set up and organised by A GREAT Cork patriot,  J.J. WALSH, that clubs and games returned to normality.  In 1932 the first All Ireland Inter-County Camogie Championship took place.

 

LOCAL IN CARRIGDHOUN

In the 1920’s and 1930’s some of the Carrigdhoun  Clubs organised teams.  Shamrocks, Ballygarvan and Ballinhassig fielded teams in those years and other Clubs organised ad hoc games for local Carnivals and Feiseanna.   In the 1940’s there was a Club that drew players from a number of localities, (Tracton, Ballymartle and Ballinhassig) called  EMERALD MAIDS. The team included some outstanding players.   Shiela Kelleher from Ballymartle was magnificent and she wore the Cork Senior Jersey with distinction. So too did Tracton’s Rose Barry (daughter of Blaney Barry NT) and she excelled with Cork and later played with UCC winning two Ashbourne Cup medals.  In 1949 the Shamrock team brought a first County title to Carrighdoun when they defeated Blackrock in the Senior Final played in Cobh. Their most accomplished player, MAUREEN O’SULLIVAN captained the side which was trained by a great Shamrock legendary figure, GEORGIE ANDREWS.

 

A NEW BEGINNING

In came the 1990’s with fresh thinking and a vision for the future of games and activities in Carrigdhoun.   The Carrigdhoun Board appointed Joe McGrath as Schools’ Coach to train and prepare all the boys and girls for the games of hurling and football.  Summer Camps, for all, were inaugurated too and very clearly the enthusiasm of the girls could not be ignored.   It was time to set up a formal Carrigdhoun Camogie Structure.   Board Officers, John Twomey and Jim Forbes laid the foundations and THERESA MURPHY was first Chairperson with the diligent WILLIAM FLYNN as  Secretary.  New Clubs and teams were formed and there was no stop to their headlong progress. In 1994 four Under Age County titles were won by Carrigdhoun Clubs.  In 1996 MELANIE FITZGERALD of Carrigaline became the first Camogie Player to win one of THE ACTON’S HOTEL SPORTS STARS AWARD. In 1998 three Courcey Rovers Players, AINE O’REGAN, RACHEL MALONEY AND SARAH HAYES won All Ireland Minor Medals playing with Cork.  Carrigdhoun was now dancing with the stars.

 

Black & White team photo; 1934 - 90 years ago; The Shamrock Camogie Team photographed in Aghada. Back Row L. to R. Rita Colbert, Celia Griffin, Nora Holland, Lilly Corbett, Kitty Thomas, Minnie Jeffers, Peggy Harris, Anna Andrews, Kathleen Farrell. Mid. Row L. to R. Kathleen Roche, Nora Dunne, Mary Hanlon, Ita Farrell. Front Row L. to R. Josephine O'Sullivan, Eileen Cox. The team travelled by boat from Ringaskiddy pier to Aghada for the game.

 


HALL OF FAME

In 1996, Ballinhassigh’s Linda O’Sullivan brought the first All Ireland medal to Carrigdhoun when she was a member of the Cork Junior winning side.  A year later she collected a very first Senior medal, having been promoted to that level.

In 1998 Cork won the all-Ireland Minor Title and the victorious team included six wonderful Carrigdhoun starlets, Cathriona Kelly, Eimear Dillon, Sarah O’Donovan, Rachel Moloney, Aine O’Regan and Sarah Hayes:  What a mighty feat!

2004 saw the great reward for hard work and  dedication truly manifested with the Divisional Senior Side winning a first County Title.  This historic team was captained by Ballygarvan’s Cathriona Kelly who also received THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH TROPHY.

Cork Senior Camogie Team won the All Ireland Title in 2005, captained by Innishannon’s Elaine Burke and she proudly led her team up the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect the famed O’Duffy Cup.   Three other Carrigdhoun members joined Elaine on that winning team, Eimear Dillon, Jennifer Browne and Sarah O’Donovan.   Eimear Dillon  would go on to receive a CAMOGIE ALL STAR AWARD along with an ACTON’S HOTEL SPORTS AWARD.


ANNIVERSARY FUNCTION

Recently a function was held in Acton’s Hotel to mark the 20th anniversary of the 2004 senior victory.   It was a timely and worthy gesture to that great group of Ladies and Mentors who made history all those years ago.  Special presentations were made to the large group of players present along with Mentors Tom Kiely and Ollie Hallinan and Team Coach Marion McCarthy.  The Esteemed President of the Carrigdhoun Camogie Board, The Evergreen Mary Bugler, was honoured too with a special presentation for her many years of dedicated service.

The current Chairperson of the Carrigdhoun Camogie Board is Debbie O’Donovan and the Secretary is Shirley O’Mahony.  Everything looks good for the future, so keep the flame burning.



1998; Courcey Rovers' members of the Cork Minor All Ireland winning team L to R . Aine O'Regan, Rachel Moloney and Sarah Hayes.

 


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